Treading water only lasts so long
At some point,
the pull of the boat or dock or shore
becomes too much
The edge of exhaustion creeps up
The doubt of how much longer the legs and arms can cycle,
When will the muscles or lungs give out?
The hand must be able to reach out –
To grasp the solid surface
To heave the dead weight up and out of the abyss.
Unless you decide to float
To rest your head in line with the water,
Arch your back toward the sky
Let your hands and feet sway like seaweed
Rest and freedom come with this release
But also require relinquish of control:
The moment your ears slip below the surface,
Deadening the sound of the world above,
Open only to the gentle sloshing below
The origin of your breath so close to submersion
Your lungs expanding above and below the water
Your bottom threatening to pull it all under.
Possible panic in action and inaction
All at the thin line where the water meets the air